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An orphan of the storm
She moved to Houston
To live below
That copper colored sky
Louisiana girl
Born into losing
The skyline of the city
Made her cry


So Lord send me down
A fallen angel
With a miracle to perform
And I ain't the kind
Who gives up
But I'm so tired of rain
Lord I'm just an
Orphan of the storm

She'd lived there before
When she was using
Now she's standing on
The same old street again
Yeah that hurricane
It blew her back to Houston
Had to give into
The devil's howling wind


Now somewhere down the line
There must be salvation
She thought it through
20 years ago
But sin spoke
A constant invitation
It was in her veins
And wouldn't let her go

(Chorus 2x)

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  • k
    KuffOct 21, 2008 at 6:15 pm
    Tom Petty actually wrote this song after visiting a remote village in Africa.
    The people in the village were real poor, so none of the children had any toys. But this one little boy had gotten an old enema bag and filled it with rocks, and he would go around and whap the other children across the face with it. Man, I think my heart almost broke. Later the boy came up and offered to give me the toy. This was too much! I reached out my hand, but then he ran away. I chased him down and took the enema bag. He cried a little, but that's the way of these people.
  • k
    KuffOct 21, 2008 at 6:07 pm

    The meaning of this song is quite simple. If you ever crawl inside an old hollow log and go to sleep, and while you're in there some guys come and seal up both ends and then put it on a truck and take it to another city, boy, I don't know what to tell you.
  • m
    michaela_myers87Sep 5, 2008 at 3:45 pm
    I love this song. The chorus is beautiful, and it's always nice to hear Tom Petty's voice. The story it tells, though, is a sad tale of addiction. I will give my interpretation, though many things are ambiguous.
    The girl in the song is a heroin addict.
    In the first stanza, she moves to the city, but as soon as she sees the skyline, she cries. I believe that this is because she knows that as soon as she gets there, she will start using again. She is afraid to start again, because she knows it will kill her if she doesn't stop. She's afraid to die.
    The chorus is her plea to God for a miracle- for Him to help her kick her addiction. She says she doesn't want to give up, but she's very tired. Things aren't getting better, and it doesn't look as though they ever will. Her addiction is too strong, and it overpowers her too often.
    The next stanza gives a bit of background: She has lived in Houston before. She was a druggie then, as well. Now she is standing on the same street where she met her pusher to buy drugs and she's getting more. The "hurricane" she speaks of is symbolic of some hardship in her life. Something went wrong- possibly a relationship, and now all she has to fall back on is this. Like a stressed out smoker having a cigarette to calm his nerves, so she goes back to the needle to ward away her pain.
    The stanza after the second chorus is her thoughts on her situation: She had been clean for 20 years, but even after all that time, the desire for the drug is still there. This time, she gave in, and now she is heavily into it again, but she still has a weary hope that she will defeat it, as evidenced by the lines, "somewhere down the line there must be salvation."

    I don't know who Mr. Petty is singing about, but I sure hope she wins. : )

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